This post was originally posted at and can be read in full at The well project.
A girl like mea program of The Well Project, is a blog where women () can share their experiences and promote understanding of HIV. Millions of women around the world are living with HIV, but many feel alone in the face of their illness and isolated in their daily experiences. The objectives of A girl like me are to help normalize HIV; and create a safe space where women living with HIV around the world can speak out and share their experiences – with each other and with those seeking a community of support.
As we enter 2022, we are excited to share the 10 most viewed A girl like me blogs of 2021. If you missed them the first time around, take the time to check them out now for inspiration you can always count on from our blogging community!
“Midterm Survivor” by ci.ciiiiiii
“12 years, 10 months.
Approximately 4,687.27 days.
Some drug regimens.
An HIV-negative child.
Which feels like 1,000 and 1 doctor’s appointments.
502 stabs in my left arm.
Because that’s where my good veins are.
Lonely nights full of tears.
And I’m STILL not a long-term survivor of HIV.” Continue reading…
“Inspired by Red40Something
“For a whole bunch of reasons that no one but me cares about, I’ve been researching and compartmentalizing my life. Taking stock and assessing where I’m not and where I could be emotionally. It has to to do with realizing that I’m not dreaming anymore. I don’t know when I last dreamed. I’ve had goals, but it’s not really the same thing, is it I’m negatively triggered and it upsets my feelings, but that’s another topic for another day. Continue reading…
#9: “When it’s rare, you don’t treat it like it’s normal…” by PDEES
“Given that it is February, which is not only Black History Month but also LOVE Month, I felt compelled to share this message with all of you. When I tell you my light is working like crazy right now. I think so, the attraction is really heavy. An anomaly occurred to me a short time ago. As a vertical person, born with HIV, we are already rare among the HIV-positive population. However, I have always been lucky enough to be able to find who I consider to be my TWIN. That person may not feel the same way about me, but the thing is, for me, it was something I never thought would happen in a million years. For my own good, I hope that’s not the case. Continue reading…
#8: “My personal journey to the COVID vaccine” by MzGee1966
“Last year we were all shaken up by a deadly new virus. Much like in the early days of HIV, we didn’t really understand the modes of transmission – we just knew it was potentially deadly. The country was locked down , people lost their jobs and many lost their lives. We started hoarding toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant. Disinfecting wipes became a hot commodity – masks, gloves and face shields became the norm. We learned the term “social distancing” and felt its impact when we quickly realized how boring life was without our family and friends. In other words, COVID life sucked. Continue reading…
#7: “Personal Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of HIV/AIDS” by Krista Martel
“It is hard to believe that we are approaching the 40th anniversary of the first reports of what came to be known as HIV. My personal journey with HIV began in 1994 when my sister, Ellen, was diagnosed with AIDS, with less than 100 T cells. or not of her disease by those around her and what she did with it) had a lasting impact on me. After a while, Ellen became an HIV advocate and I was her biggest cheerleader for pushing the stigma around the virus. It was also through the experience of helping her find a support group that the lack of resources focused on women became clear to me. Continue reading…
#6: “An open letter to healthcare providers from a woman living with HIV, of transgender experience, in the rural south” by KatieAdsila
“Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be transgender? Living with HIV? In the rural south? Each of these issues alone can be difficult. Needs.
Let’s start with the language, because that, to me, is a good indicator of how you really feel about me, how much respect you intend to give me, and therefore, how much I’m likely to trust you as soon as departure. First off, “transgender” isn’t a word, and isn’t a word because it can’t be. The added “ed” at the end implies something done with or for you: you can be murdered, you can be debated, but you can’t be transgender. It is not the result of anyone’s actions or past trauma. You were born transgender; it may take you a little while to figure that out.” Continue reading…
To tattoo OR not to tattoo by JoDha
“Even when it comes to HIV and tattoos, the messages are quite mixed. Can people with HIV get tattoos? Is there a risk of a tattoo artist inking someone with HIV? it differently on an HIV-positive person?
The doctor I consulted told me not to tattoo. Why? Because I am HIV positive. Because it will spread to others through needles. Because healing will be slow, there will be infection, there will be pus or blisters. Yes. Even in 2021, some doctors are not up to date and will discourage something that is almost ZERO RISK, especially following health and safety measures.” Continue reading…
“My story with HIV” by MariaHIVMejia
“My name is Maria Mejia and this is my story with HIV!
I hid my HIV diagnosis from almost everyone for almost 20 years. Diagnosed at age 18 in 1991 and contracted HIV at age 15 in 1988, I told my family and friends that I had leukemia.
I became an activist over 20 years ago and have become a tireless advocate for people living with HIV. » Continue reading…
#4: “Nothing but the truth” by ConnieLJohnson
“The day my mother announced that she had been diagnosed with AIDS, my whole world changed. With tears in her eyes, she explained that she had contracted the disease from her recently deceased ex-fiancé and did not know how long she had left to live. I immediately cried as if she was already gone. At the time, I was a 17-year-old high school student filled with the anticipation that comes with graduation and college projects. When my moans ended, a different conversation started. My mother reached under her bed, retrieved a thick, still-green book, and began flipping through the pages. She landed on “autoimmune diseases”. Her mission: search her medical dictionary until she finds a milder, milder disease that resembles AIDS. “If anyone asks, I have lupus. Do you understand me?” “Yes ma’am,” my sister and I agreed. That was our story and we were committed to sticking to it. June 1994 I am went off to college. By some small miracle, my mom raised enough money for me to go to DeVry in Atlanta. I went home at the end of my first term to a mom I didn’t recognize. In just three months, she went from a plump, vivacious Brickhouse to an unrecognizable shell of herself. By January 1995, she was gone. continue reading…
#3: “Pregnancy, birth and HIV” by Ladder
“I spoke briefly about discovering that I was living with HIV when I got pregnant with my daughter, but I didn’t really talk about the whole experience. Although I have accepted my status and even accept it, thinking back to that time can still be painful. I know very well that I did not receive the comprehensive support or services that I should have received from my medical provider. I think about how different and probably more peaceful I could have been, especially during my pregnancy, if I had received the support I needed from the start. I want to share my experience in the hopes that this can help other women who are pregnant and living with HIV to know that they are not alone, that they can pull through, and more importantly, that the odds their baby becoming HIV-positive can mean little to nothing. I also want to encourage those who are new to HIV to tell at least ONE person they think they can trust. I spent nearly two years without telling anyone. continue reading…
#2: “He died without an apology!” through Blacksmith of Destiny
“It’s been almost four years since I contracted HIV. Deep down inside I’ve always held a little hope. I hope the man who gave it to me will someday apologize. Someday, we will pass each other and we had to have this long conversation because it was time.
Almost a month ago I learned that he passed away in March of this year. I was fine, absolutely fine, before I knew it. The day after I found out, my mind and body shut down. It was really different. The last time I felt these feelings was the day I found out about my status. I don’t know if his death was related to the virus or if it was something else. We never spoke to each other after our breakup.” continue reading…
#1: To newly diagnosed” by HEROconnor
“Take your time.
Your life has just changed in a very drastic way and all the feelings you are feeling right now are completely valid – anger, sadness, fear – allow yourself to feel them all.
Surround yourself with support. If not a person close to you, an animal, if not an animal, an object that brings you comfort. Eventually these fresh wounds will scab over and you will have the ability to invite more.” Continue reading…
The Well Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to change the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic with a focus on women and girls. Visit their website, https://www.thewellproject.org/to access fact sheets (in English and Spanish), blogs and advocacy tools, and to join a global community of women living with HIV.